Monday, July 13, 2015

Descend into the Memeplex

In the last post, I mentioned that I have a broader perspective of history and economics than my Wife. She has been raised according to the Chicago North Shore liberal ethos and thinks accordingly. Economically and socially, school remains dominant in her mind, along with "good jobs," going to university, getting correct health care, and respecting all the historical inequities from the horrible legacy of Jim Crow.

Her perspective on life rarely surprises me. She was thinking about education the other day: she determined that she wants our schools to teach our kids, of course, but not to take the creativity out of them. To respect diversity, but to teach them confidence, and to teach them to be nice.

That's not how education has to be, of course. Why shouldn't education involve a heavy religious component? Religion has usually been a major focus of education, especially since education has usually been driven by religious institutions: literacy in Early Middle Ages remained the privilege of a few Monks. Charlemagne never learned to read: could you say the same of Barrack Obama or any leader today?

 How much "thinking" about education can she be doing if her end state remains exactly the same as the beginning? She reached no conclusions, only reinforced her old beliefs.

She rationalized.

Then again, she has no reference to anything other than what she sees. The greatest dichotomy she sees is between her style of education, the Tiger Mom rote-memorization inflicted upon Asian children, and the kind of laziness that defines the lower classes. This is the full extent of her knowledge, and therefore she has no real reason not to trust her own judgement.

I have a broader base of knowledge, not only in education, but in various facets of education. When I walk through my neighborhood, I see suburban sprawl in the 1950s and 1960s, juxtaposed against homes built in the 30s and 40s. In a few cases, I see neo-eclectic monstroties reflecting the growing wealth and desiriability of community.

I see zoning laws that allow only single family detached laws, except when used as a  buffer. When I arrive downtown, I see as Tax Incentive Financing District (quite common in Illinois but common nowhere else) creating business, and I see narrow streets initially created in the 1930s and 1940s when the village was merely a rail depot. Then we travel North into 1980s housing policy, on wider tracts of lands, with larger closets.

I see Memes.

That's how I decided to change my perspective on perspective....I do not have a broader knowledge, per se. I have a deeper knowledge in economics, social psychology, and history. Which in turn act like universal acids that simply burn through every school of knowledge and create new insights.

The way I see social interactions, towns, everything, is reminiscent of the Matrix: Much like Neo, I tend to see fundamental building blocks, at least pertaining to the subjects I know.

This is why we refer to Game knowledge as "Red Pill." Learning about Game deconstructs the social dances of one night stands, long-term relationships, marriages, and courtship into fundamental building blocks of physical human attraction and social conditioning.

Nature via nurture. 

There's danger to this, though. Man often fall into a state of madness or despair upon learning the truth: society has turned his nobility and his honor against him, to strip him of agency, to conceal from him the true nature of the world, so that he fulfill socially expected roles that demand he sacrifice most of his objectives, most of his life, most of his masculinity, and most of his soul. Only if he carries a few select genes and social skills is he allowed to pursue anything that might reasonably be called a "Life."

Man sometimes become extremist in this light.

Man has fallen into the Meme-Plex, for which he was not innoculated.

I use the term "Meme-Plex" to describe the social functions under our current society. You see a man approaching a woman and trying to pick her up, but underlying these social conventions are social ideas, ideas about how this situation should interact. For instance, traditional courtship, defined in 12th Century France, might demand a flower.

This social practice spreads through people and is replicated when men gain success. Occasionally it is modified: a flower is presented with a sonnet, or perhaps red flowers are selected for over yellow flowers. Nevertheless, these cultural memes spread and infect our entire society.

The entire combination of Memes creates our society. The society may look quite ordered, but the overall appearance of order deceives: beneath the surface lies a tumultuous world of competing ideas, much like at a microscopic level genes duel to the death to see who shall inherit the Earth.

The human mind is not crafted to look deeply into the Meme-Plex. Modernist Art like the below is what happens when a mind peers too deeply into the Meme-Plex:

Life loses meaning and becomes an existentialist nightmare. Worse, travelling into this deep underworld means exposing yourself to untold numbers of pathogens. Your civilized society gently pushes asides ideas that may prove dangerous. Yes, yes, you were told to be a Beta man and accept your place as a consolation prize in a woman's love life, but you were also told not to sacrifice children. Infanticide is a regular practice throughout history and this society blocks that notion from your mind (abortion aside for now).

Your society inoculated you against dangerous concepts like Nazism, Communism, and human bondage, though, yes, it may have trained you against "Sexism" and "Patriarchy" as well.

When you take the creaking, dark stairwell into the Memeplex, you don't know what you'll find. You don't know what idea your mind might fall prey to you. Dabbling with Memes unsupervised is no better than playing with Ebola with no protection.

This is, of course, is why certain movements throughout history have gone nuts. Second Wave Feminism, with its "all sex is rape" logic, descended into the Memeplex, and came out a grotesque perversion of the natural desire for human liberty. The French Revolution ran the fields of liberty red when reality proved "unwilling" to bend to the twisted ideas pulled willy-nilly from the Enlightenment MemePlex.

The Meme-Plex is terrifying. What we talk about here, on the internet, is terrifying. Sanitized, it can be, and will be, eventually. But when you start deconstructing your ideas, you start to deconstruct your values, your ego, your ideals, your visions of the world. The Pretty Lies perish, as Roissy might say, and nothing remains of your world but burnt cinders, remnants of an intellectual fire fueled far too well for its own good.

It's not surprising humanity has evolved to express disgust at being too liberal, too open-minded, too willing to accept new ideas. Most new ideas, like most new mutations, are bad, and require a powerful antibody response.

I spent perhaps too much of my life and too much of my energy criticizing people and entire societies for not having more intellectual vigor. There's an important humble note to recognize that intellectual curiosity bears as much risk as anything else: The 20th Century intellectuals filled many mass graves with their "intellectual vigor." 

These days, I try to rise from the MemePlex, and bask in a bright light I can now enjoy, thanks to the strong memetic foundation my forefathers built for me. 

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